I have written many communications to our crew force. In most of them I talk about the professional character that defines our pilot group. While character is merely a word, the manner in which our pilots demonstrate the meaning of that word each and every day is why I feel our pilots deserve to be treated more respectfully.
PROFESSIONAL, DEDICATED, DISCIPLINED, FOCUSED, and DETERMINED are all words that can describe our crew force, but in my mind it is my fellow pilots’ personal integrity that defines their incredible character thus setting them apart. This character requires a code—a code that is inviolate. Our word is our bond! It is important to us to keep our word and fulfill our promises to safely and securely operate our aircraft, as well as manage the rest of our lives.
That is why I believe the recent addition of Appendix S to our Flight Operations Manual (FOM) is so unfortunate. As we work to help management change its corporate culture for the better, this cynical document is thrust upon us in the most intrusive way. Those who thought this was appropriate greatly misjudged the character of our crew force.
OUR FLIGHT OPERATIONS MANUAL is just that, a manual providing critical guidance for the operation of our aircraft. This vitally important manual should not be sullied by the inclusion of labor mandates and threats. It should not be a People Manual, or a Personal Acceptable Conduct manifesto. It is an extremely important volume required by the FAA to outline the expectations for the safe and secure operations of our aircraft. It includes guidance and information necessary to operate FedEx aircraft with a high degree of safety and security. Placing Appendix S in this manual provides distraction and it runs contrary to our effort to enhance safety, and it certainly negatively impacts our desire for positive culture change.
It is my belief that those responsible for the addition of Appendix S in our FOM are more concerned with imposing their will during future discipline cases, than acknowledging the outstanding quality of this pilot group. While there are many places to put the FedEx Employee Acceptable Conduct and Discipline Policy, the FedEx Flight Operations Manual is certainly not one of them.
Now it’s FedEx Flight management’s opportunity to acknowledge this error and demonstrate their character by removing Appendix S from our FOM. On occasion, mistakes are made both by company management and members of our pilot group. Threats and intimidation are definitely not the best way to raise the bar. Doing the right thing is the gold standard!